oranje - recent posts from my current home

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The future of the Three Rivers Arts Festival

Last year, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservatism and Natural Resources began work on renovating Point Park, which is at the tip of downtown's Golden Triangle, sitting at the confluence of the Ohio, Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers. Three Rivers Arts Festival, as well as the Regatta and several other annual events, were negatively impacted by the renovation. Three Rivers Arts Festival had a much smaller footprint and various parts of the festival, like the Best of Pittsburgh show, were spread over downtown. But since this was only temporary, the coordinators found the spaces and worked around the renovation. But now, there appears to be some glitches in the renovation plan. From the Post Gazette -

New guidelines are being developed for the use of the state-owned park and unless those guidelines are revised, the festival "will most likely not be able to operate in Point State Park," said Elizabeth Reiss, the arts festival's executive director. Read the article

The article goes on to explain that the regulations have not yet been finalized and that a meeting is scheduled with the organizers of these several events to discuss their concerns. Hopefully, the meeting will bring a greater understanding of the needs of event organizers and the concerns of PA -DCNR.

There is very little diversity in the visual arts in downtown Pittsburgh, with most venues operating as non-profits or as co-op galleries. Although the festival emphasizes the performance components more so than the visual arts, at least it does present a wider range of visual arts than what is usually found in downtown. The artist market houses fine crafts and arts and most of the vendors are marketing their work to individual purchases. It brings a more diverse mix of art appreciators to downtown and that is a good thing. Frankly, I am tired of ugly, shock and derivative art that appeals to a very small group of the public. Downtown really needs this festival.

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